On the ground and in the air, you will experience a medical carer unlike anything in civilian life, providing all aspects of medical care to Air Force personnel.

  • Service
    Air Force
  • Specialisation
    Medical and Health
  • Location
  • Starting Salary
  • Upcoming Intake
    09 September, 2019
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About the role

The medical team is a vital part of the Air Force and secondly to the New Zealand Defence Force. As a Medic your role is to provide pre-hospital primary and emergency health care, occupational, environmental and preventative medicine to the RNZAF and Defence Force in operational and static environments, often under adverse conditions on the ground and in the air. It is a demanding role, and you will need to be tough and able to keep a cool head in stressful situations.

As a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Medic you will be responsible for performing a variety of medical tasks in various locations.

Job on base

As a Medic, you will be posted to a base medical flight where you will assist with daily duties including treating personnel with illness or injury, medical administration, minor surgery and medical cover for base sports events. Base medical flights have personnel on standby for all military flights, both leaving and arriving on base or flying in the local area. These flights can occur any time of the day and at times you may be on call after hours to provide assistance if necessary. Medics are also involved in the provision of search and rescue operations and you may be required to provide on call and after hours support.

RNZAF units continually train for military operations, not only on base, but also in field environments. Medical support is required for field exercises such as deployed flying exercises, parachuting, survival training, weapon range activities, and recruit training. A medic will attend most field activities and provide emergency medical care in the event of an incident (on the ground or in the air) and treat any illness or injury that may occur. Medics will often find themselves in situations where they are the only health care provider readily available, and therefore you will have training in emergency medicine. This starts with basic first aid but will extend through to areas including advanced cardiac life support, advanced airway management, advanced trauma life support, and intravenous fluid therapy.

All RNZAF personnel have some first aid training. As you gain medical knowledge and experience, you will be involved in conducting this training, including CPR, first aid courses, advanced first aid for treating combat casualties, and training people who are preparing for overseas deployments.

Job on deployment

The focus for a Medic on operational duties is the maintenance of optimum health amongst deployed personnel, and provision of emergency care to deployed personnel and to the local populace as required.

You will perform duties such as daily medical consultations and treatment, checking hygiene standards, and environmental health control and prevention. You may get the opportunity to be part of forward Aeromedical Evacuation team.

You may also be involved in humanitarian aid following cyclones or tsunamis in such places as Samoa and Indonesia, or the Aeromedical Evacuation of personnel from abroad back to New Zealand.

Career progression and training

Career Progression
Basic Training
Job Training
Ongoing Training

This is a varied and interesting career offering many different experiences at home and abroad. The training is world class. As your training progresses and your skills develop, you will assist in the teaching of more junior medics through both supervision and instruction. You will also have opportunities for promotion and, if we think you’ve got what it takes, you may be selected for officer training.

Upon successful enlistment into the Air Force you’ll be posted to RNZAF Base Woodbourne (near Blenheim). Here you’ll do 12 weeks of basic military training to find out if you’ve got what it takes to be in the Air Force, and learn various subjects including:

  • Organisation and Administration
  • RNZAF Customs and Protocol
  • Drill and Parades
  • Military Field Skills and Weapon Training
  • First Aid, and Search and Rescue Techniques
  • Physical Fitness

Throughout your career you will have continuous opportunities to expand your knowledge and experience, and to remain current as a medical professional. At the moment the Defence Health Directorate is reviewing how medics are to be trained and prepared to meet the operational needs of the Defence Force.

Once the trade training pathway is established, you will be provided with academic support and clinical placements, allowing integration of theory and class work with the challenge of real time medical practice and experience.

On completion of formal (tertiary) training you will then graduate as a qualified medic, be posted to your unit and will be eligible to serve on operations.


Once you have gained this qualification you will be posted to an Air Force base where you will begin working as a medic to meet the outputs of the medical trade, the Air Force and Defence.

To maintain your knowledge and skills there will be a requirement to carry out regular clinical and emergency care placements in a civilian hospital and the pre hospital environment. Other medical training opportunities are available throughout your career.

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Salary and benefits

Careers in the Air Force are well-rewarded, as well as being diverse and exciting. As you become more experienced and move up through the ranks, gaining additional skills and qualifications, you will see your salary rise accordingly.




Starting Salary


Higher Rank

Benefits and allowances

There are many additional benefits to being in the Defence Force, that will make your money go further.

For example, on top of your basic salary you can expect ‘Military Factor’. This provides you with significant extra financial rewards because of the commitment you’ve made to serve your country.

Free medical and dental
Access to subsidised equipment on base
Subsidised food on base
Competitive superannuation, up to 4% with KiwiSaver
Sponsored tertiary study programmes at all levels

Entry requirements

Fitness and medical
Period of Service
  • You must be 17 years or older.
  • Computer skills beneficial.
  • Meet the citizenship & security requirements to gain CV security clearance for this trade.
  • A full Class 1 drivers licence preferred but must hold a Restricted Class 1 drivers licence

You must have achieved NCEA level 2 with a minimum of 12 credits in level 2 Science.

Find out more about the NCEA levels and certificate requirements

  • You must be medically fit for service.
  • Colour perception restrictions may apply.

There are strict citizenship and security requirements to gain the required CV security clearance for this trade.

Find out if you’re eligible here.

Your training is some of the most thorough and advanced in the world. On completion of your formal (tertiary) training you may be contractually obliged to carry out a return of service to the Air Force.

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Ready to start your Air Force career?

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